The Cooking Runner

A little Pinot, A little Christmas music, yeah I am THAT girl…

So the day was uneventful until grocery shopping. A great big THANK YOU to the lady in the Lexus SUV that cut me off to get a close spot… YOU ROCK!!!  An especially big “YOU ROCK” because you were in front of me in the check out lane carrying your Fabulous Coach purse and your kid was wearing designer duds, but you paid with your WIC card (for those of you who are not in Michigan, that is food stamps)… WTH???

On the bright side I have to give a serious “YOU ROCK” to the check out girl at the grocery store. I was buying wine to cook dinner and my driver’s license fell out of my purse. So when the time came and she said “Can I see your ID” I gladly…oh damn I don’t have it. She said “I can’t sell this to you” I said, “Do I really look like I am under 21?” The wonderful, classy, super awesome check out girl said, “No you don’t look 40… I can’t sell to anyone under 40 without an ID.” THANK YOU CHICA!!!!!

SO had to stop at the party store on the way home because my driver’s license was sitting on my front seat.

Dinner tonight was Curried Venison Pot Pie….so good… and I found a white wine that I actually like!!!! You can substitute beef or lamb for the venison.

Curried Venison Adapted from Food and Wine magazine, (I changed a couple things.)

  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 cubed venison
  3. Salt
  4. Freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 medium onion, chopped
  6. 2 teaspoons curry powder
  7. 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  8. 1 cup dry white wine (I used Pino Grigio)
  9. 1 cup chicken stock
  10. 2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice (10 ounces)
  11. 2 cups chopped Tuscan kale
  12. 1 medium carrot, chopped
  13. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  14. 1 large egg lightly beaten
  15. Puff Pastry
  1. MAKE THE CURRY In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season the venison with salt and pepper and add half to the casserole. Cook over high heat until browned on 2 sides, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the venison to a bowl; repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the remaining venison. Pour off the oil in the casserole.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the venison to the casserole. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the wine until smooth. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened, 1 minute. Cover and simmer over low heat until the venison is very tender, 1 hour.
  3. Add the squash, kale, and carrot to the casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are tender, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and let cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spoon the curry into a buttered 8-by-11-inch baking dish. Brush the dish rim with beaten egg. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. Fold the pastry in half, unfold it over the curry, and gently press onto the edge of the dish. Brush with beaten egg; cut 4 small steam vents in the top.
  5. Bake for about 40  minutes or until pastry puff is a warm gold brown. 

The wine I used were

Chatueau Grand Traverse Pinto Grigio

Bogle Vineyards Phantom

While I was cooking… yeah I am that girl who is already listening to Christmas music. Hey, it puts me in a better mood!!! Then my sister told me she is listening to it too… I am not the only one!!!!

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The Three Amigos

No canoeing this weekend, but we did pour a lot of concrete! We had a crew of three, I supervised of course!

 We poured two slabs for a patio out the door of the walkout basement. We watched this amazing movie called “The Magic of Belle Isle”, with Morgan Freeman. It was the sweetest movie I have seen in a while. I highly recommend it!

Yesterday, Momma S. made pumpkin bars….YUMMO!!!! This morning when I walked into the kitchen, they were on the counter and calling my name so I had one. Then decided I should prolly go on a run considering it was already 10 am…well so much for a sunrise dune run! Armed with my running buddy, Sasha and I set out… My Nike running app (Which is amazing by the  way, but that is not a screen shot from my app, I do not know how to add screen shots yet.) Rambled off my pace…I have it set to a male voice because hearing a female voice tell me “Mile 1 complete, average pace per mile is 8:38”  sounds like she is yelling at me. It is offensive. So any who I have a male voice. When he rambled off my pace I thought “Wow what is in the pumpkin bars, this is awesome!” Then I heard “Mile 2 complete” and my pace… It was fast then the first mile and I was running on the beach in squishy sand, I need the recipe for those pumpkin bars! Then I turned around to run back…”Where the hell did all this wind come from?” oh yeah it was at my back.

So mile three came and went and it was a little slower, then I got a cramp….oh a pumpkin bar before the run was not a great idea!!! I pushed on and actually the run was one of my better runs in the end.

There was a breakfast burrito and an amazing cup of coffee waiting for me when I got back from my run with Sasha. The other two puppies were happily waiting for us too. 

The dogs are not allowed in the kitchen, even though Sonny is pushing it. I wish I could take all three of them for runs on the beach!!!

Where is your favorite place to run?

What is your favorite pre-run fuel?

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Alternative Fuel Parking Only

What better way to start a very early day by drinking this…., Then going here…, Then buying these  and then finding this post on Pinterest… (ignore the profanity please)…While sitting at the car dealership waiting for my car, I thought Starbucks, Target, shoes, and a man that wines and dines me….DAMN I am one lucky woman!

I had lunch with the lucky man in my life . I went to Marie Catrib’s in Grand Rapids. I ordered out and had to pick it up, WOW what a busy place on a Friday at noon! Who woulda thunk it?!  Best part of that whole experience… being able to drive past everyone waiting in line for a parking spot, only to be able to pull into the spot marked “Alternative Fuel Car Parking Only”…BOOM!!!!! Score 1 point Marie Catribe’s for having such awesome parking. So I waited for what seemed like an eternity until Marie came around with a plate of cookies….Chocolate, oatmeal, peanut butter Gluten Free heaven!!! Score 2 for Marie Catrib’s! So finally my two Shwarma gyros were ready but only when I had to ask the girl… “Um does that say Trina?”  Girl: “Yeah”  “I am Trina” Girl: “Oh right did you pay?”  Thought in my head “UM can’t you see the word that says P-A-I-D?” but actually said “yeah here is my receipt”  So after I left slightly down I remembered I still had a little bit of the cookie left… I held strong and saved it for the Lucky Man I was having lunch with.

The food was so so. There was a little meat and a lot of bread. I was slightly unsatisfied when Adam and I were done having lunch. Opinion? I would not avoid this place by any means. Marie is so sweet. I just would not go out of my way to go here.

I picked up my super awesome military wife friend Sara…and we hit the town like two wild women! We went shopping at Blue Boutique (awesome designer stuff for super cheap!!! , talked, got coffee (at Starbucks, yeah I love Starbucks… Christmas is coming you know…), talked, and walked a little, and talked some more about stuff  “only a military wife would understand”

So the hubs and I decided we are going canoeing tomorrow…high of 50* so I figured I needed to bundle up. I tried on hats and got a lot of laughs from the hubs….

It was pretty funny I laughed at myself. I could not decide which hat so it will be a last minute decision. I do have to say though, I have a sneaky suspicion that the last hat might make an appearance on a ski trip in the near future!!!!

Do you have items, places that make your day great?

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Oh Napa Valley….how I miss you

After two days of hard runs, I had to take today off. I woke up with super sore quads. So a 3 mile walk with the puppies was all I could do!

A year ago, my awesome SIL     and I went to a wine industry trade show in Napa Valley. We did a little wine tasting too! If you ever have the chance to go to Napa Valley….GO!!!! I personally liked Napa better than Sonoma, but fun was had by all!!! A couple suggestions are Micheal Mondavi Winery, Clif Family Winery, and Domaine Chandon. When we were at Domaine Chandon, we signed up for Club Chandon. They have all different types of shipments you can pick from. The winery itself has a wonderful gift shop. We found hand lotion, Olivina Fig, that is made by the gods…it smells like Napa Valley, or if Napa had a smell!!! It is a little pricey, but in my opinion well worth the splurge. Check it out! the scent comes in a candle too, my house smells of it right now! The Cliff Family Winery made me think of my husband. He races road and mountain bikes, crazy style (so do his buddies…Kerri, I found this and had to post it!). The entire tasting room is all about cycling. They have wine in a bag called the Climber Pouch… 2 bottles of wine that will maintain freshness if for some odd reason you do not finish them. That would mean you would have left over wine, I am not really sure what that is, but apparently it exists.

However, I have to be true to my school, Traverse City is in heavy competition with Napa Valley… Girls weekend in t minus 3 weeks and counting… I will let you know who wins…

If you are not making a trip out west anytime soon (I am not 😦 ) You can order all these yummy treats online off the winery websites!

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The Grinch who stole my egg sandwich and meatballs…

If you live in the Grand Rapids area, are free Dec. 16, 2012, and want to support Wounded Warrior …. Come out and run or walk the Whoville 5k! Check out the website… . Best part about the race????? A LONG SLEEVE PATAGONIA TECH SHIRT!!

Sasha and I went for a run this morning, and Sasha got a compliment from a friendly police officer. That made her day!!! I think it made up for the fact I made her run 4 miles straight without a swimming break in the middle. I Have to say, there is just something super awesome about running in the fall… I love it!

After I got back from my run, I had my second breakfast…oh was it so good!!! Fogarelli’s Import Market in Traverse City has all these amazing Italian meats and The Cheese Lady, well, nothing short of amazing. So I have prosciutto,  aged provolone, and fresh farm eggs from Knot Yet Farms. The end result is a egg sandwich from heaven…

So I found this awesome jewelry box idea on Pinterest….um, yeah, it looked like a good idea! I went to Hobby Lobby and Home Depot, bought what I needed…. EPIC FAIL. The box is so bad I couldn’t even post it on here!!!

Since I failed at arts and crafts, I started to cook… and let me tell you… I DID NOT fail at that!!!

Meatballs and Red Sauce

2 pounds ground venison

2 pounds ground beef

1 clove garlic

1 medium shallot

1 c mini bella mushrooms

1 c shitake mushrooms

1/4 c Penzy’s Tuscan Sunset Seasoning

1/4 c Pensy’s sweey basil

1/4 c grated Parmesean cheese

a couple shakes of red pepper flakes

a couple shakes of truffle salt

1/2 c Italian bread crumbs

1. In a food processor combine mushrooms, garlic and shallots.

2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients, including the mixture in the food processor. Mix with hands until it is well blended.

3. Form into 1″ balls and place on a parchment lined, rimmed cookie sheet.

4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, check for pink meat. If it is pink bake for another 5 minutes.

Use homemade or store bought red sauce and enjoy!

* you can substitute pork for venison in this recipe.


What is your favorite season? 
Have you tried to make anything off Pinterest?

Lamb because of a screaming kid

The thought at the grocery store at 4pm, after work, ad-mist a screaming kid (not mine, my future children would never do that!) “God I need a glass of wine”…and then I saw lamb chops in the butcher case… Broiled herb lamb chops with tarragon smashed potatoes, and roasted maple glazed acorn squash…boom… dinner.

I am that good…

I just randomly think of amazing dinners, with a perplexed look on my face, while staring at raw lamb chops…(the butcher at Meijer better not blow my cover!)

Got home, poured the wine in the decanter, because a red has to breath to be good (or so I have been told)… and I needed a glass Then I put all the groceries away!

Herb Lamb Chops

Parsley, thyme rosemary and sage…Equal parts of all 4

4 lamb chops

Ground Pepper

Olive oil

In a shallow casserole dish, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Sprinkle all the herbs in equal amounts. Using a pepper grinder, grind three turns of pepper on to the herbs. Place the lamp chop in the herbs, then flip to coat both sides with herb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, place the lamb chops in a parchment paper lines baking dish. Broil on high for 3 minutes each side. This will give you med rare done-ness. If you want them done more add a minute or so to each side. Watch carefully!!!!

Smash Tarragon Potatoes

3 medium size baking potatoes

fresh tarragon

1 shallot

truffle salt

Microwave potatoes until mushy…( I hit the potato button 3 times since I have 3 potatoes…what has this world come to?), cut into pieces. Add a little Brummel and Brown (or butter)  and mash. Chop a tarrgon and shallots, and add to taste. Sprinkle a small amount of truffle salt.

Roasted Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash cut in half and cleaned.

1 tablespoon of Brummel and Brown or butter

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

Cut a small flat spot on the bottom of each half so the halves don’t roll around. Be careful not to cut into the squash, you want a “bowl”. Place the halves in a parchment lined baking dish.  Put a tablespoon of Brummel and Brown or butter into each half and 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup into each half. Place in a 350* oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, using a spoon, spoon the butter and syrup mixture over the top edges of the squash. cook another 15 minutes. Allow halves to cool a little before eating.

ATS sat down at the table and asked, “what’s the occasion?” My response “Because I love you and I am writing a food and running blog.” ATS, “<a small laugh> I love your Blog”. Me: “hahaha you are so not funny…”

After a rest day to recover from the dunes, I have a hill workout tomorrow…I will let you know how that goes because this Malbec is amazing!


2011 Trivento Reserve Malbec Argentina

Enjoy folks!!!

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A Sunrise Dune Run Fritatta

I woke up thinking that it was in the 40’s this morning…I was way wrong…31 degrees-that was it. I dragged Sasha out of bed….she is completely not a morning dog, but as soon as she saw the running shoes and the leash…game on! So we ran and ran and then ran up the dunes. I thought since we had so much rain lately, the sand would be wet and it would be so easy to run up them….WRONG. Sand dries really fast!!! I felt the burn!!!  So 2.5 miles and 2 runs up the dune and 2 runs down…I was dying…Sasha was pulling to keep going… How much more beautiful could a sunrise be?

We ran on the beach for a distance and Sasha went for a swim, it was still  in the 30’s! We ran back home admiring the leaves and hoping that little miss polar bear club would dry off before I walked in the house. I walked in the door to find ATS in the kitchen, towel over his shoulder making this…It was the best post run breakfast ever!!!

Red pepper and Mushroom Fritatta- Servings:4

1/2c chopped shitake mushrooms

1 bunch of green onions

1 medium shallot

1 clove garlic

2 medium piquillo peppers (they are a little spicy)

10 eggs separated

1/2 sour cream

1/2c aged provolone

1. Saute’ the vegetables in olive oil and a little sea salt.

2. Separate the eggs… the final mixture needs to have 5 whole eggs and 5 egg whites.

3 Add the sour cream to the egg mixture.

4. In a cast iron skillet, warm a little olive oil over medium heat.

5. Pour the egg mixture into cast iron skillet and then add the sauteed vegetables, then add the cheese on top.

6. Do not stir the eggs but let them cook for 5-10 minutes or until the eggs start to solidify.

7. Place the skillet in the oven under the Broiler, set on High.

8. Be sure to watch the skillet it will cook fast from this point and will burn very easy.

9. Once the fritatta starts to expand and brown remove from oven, check for done-ness, and enjoy!!!

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Gourmet Italian Lunch in a mental hospital…

…and let me tell you, it is one of my favorite restaurants of all time!

Instead of waking up and running the dunes this morning, we spent the day in Traverse City. (which is a different kind of fun than running dunes!)  For those of you that do not know where Traverse City is, it is just east of the most beautiful place in the country! Yes, it was a year ago, but nothing has changed… we went there today too.

Getting back to TC…We found this wonderful jewelry maker, Becky Thatcher Designs. AMAZING work! We drove to her Glen Arbor location to chat with her. After our hour long chat, Adam was handed a pair of earrings to give to his wonderful wife…Thanks Becky!!! (yeah I felt the tears well up.  I am that girl… that cries about everything, even gorgeous earrings!)

We had lunch at our favorite spot, a mental hospital. Ok, ok, it is not a mental hospital anymore, but it used to be! The Traverse City State Hospital or Northern Michigan Asylum was built in 1885.

Before medicinal therapies were used, it was thought that you could use beauty as therapy.   The grounds of this building are GORGEOUS. Currently, the main hospital is 75% restored. The entire “village”  is one of the largest, historic preservation and adaptive reuse redevelopments in the country. It now houses restaurants, a day spa, boutiques, and condos. Not sure about the condos though…kinda creepy! We had lunch at Trattoria Stella…one word…yum. 

This is what ATS ate, but I had an amazing porcini cream soup. For dessert we had squash gelato and raspberry honey gelato. Squash gelto you ask? YES… it tasted like a sweet potato casserole in gelato form. It was so good. ( side note… I spilled an entire glass of ice water all over the table… yet again, I am that girl…that only needs one glass of wine to be a hot mess!)

Wines Tried: Talismon Brut, L.Mawby Winery

                           Late Harvest Riesling, Blustone Vineyards 

The perfect end to a perfect day!

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A little rain, a little sun, and some really good muffins

Miles today: Rest Day

Rain and cool autumn temperatures means snuggled up puppies, hot coffee & tea, and a great day for baking!!! We have this AMAZING coffee shop/roastery in the area, Magnum Coffee…one word YUMMM!!!! 

My splurge for tea is Tea Forte. I was introduced to Tea Forte at The Delmonte Spa, at the Delmonte Lodge in Pittsford, NY. (I highly recommend the massage and facial) My mom, sister, and I went last year. Anyways…Tea Forte…They have a cocktail line of teas…tea infuses in cold vodka…fabulous concept, fabulous cocktail too! But, on a cold day, the Lavender Citrus is amazing with hot water. It is so soothing, kinda makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over.

I had some bananas that were starting to brown so I decided to make Gluten Free Trail Mix Muffins. I used the recipe from the Detoxinista’s peanut butter banana muffins as a base and then tweaked it from there.

Gluten Free Trail Mix Muffins- 350* for 15-17 minutes, makes 18 muffins

1 cup reduced fat Jif peanut butter           1/4 cup honey

3 very ripe bananas, mashed                      1/2 c gluten free oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda                                 3 tablespoons flax seed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract                           3 tablespoons roasted salted sunflower seeds

3 whole eggs                                                      1/2-3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Golden Berry blend

1/2 Dark Chocolate chips

1. Peel and mash the bananas

2. Add the peanut butter, eggs, baking soda, vanilla, honey and gf oatmeal. Mix well

3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.

4. Line 18 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Using a tablespoon measuring spoon put two heaping spoonfuls into each muffin hole.

5. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown.

Remove muffins from tin immediately and cool on a wire rack.


A military side note on Marriott hotels… Marriott gives a very substantial military discount on hotel stays. The Delmonte Lodge in Pittsford was 50% off when we stayed last December!!! THANK YOU MARRIOTT!!!!

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